California television fans may have heard that Jon Gosselin, a former star of the cancelled reality show "Jon & Kate Plus 8," is seeking custody of one of his eleven-year-old daughters. The girl claims that her mother is cruel to her and forces her to participate in the filming of the series "Kate Plus 8."
Kate, the mother, was awarded primary custody of the couple's eight children when she and Jon divorced , and the couple have not been on good terms. Experts say that it is unlikely that Jon will be granted primary custody of the child for a number of reasons, although a couple on better terms could probably work out a compromise among themselves in which the child spends more time with her father.
One of those reasons is that a change in child custody usually only happens due to a change in circumstances, and the burden will be on Jon to demonstrate that. Because the family has been filming reality series for years, the child's reluctance to participate at this stage is unlikely to be considered a change in circumstances. Another issue is that studies show children do better when they remain with their siblings, so it is unlikely that the girl will be separated from her brothers and sisters.
Parents who need to negotiate child custody and visitation may be encouraged to try mediation as a method of resolving whatever differences they may have. If issues around child custody can be agreed upon amicably, it may be in the best interests of the child. For example, parents may both want primary physical custody of their child. However, one parent may live nearer the child's school and be able to spend more time with the child. They might come to an agreement that gives that parent primary custody while allowing the other parent ample visitation time.